Are There Biases That Need to be Overcome in Science?

Definitions of Bias in Science

Bias –

1. a particular tendency, trend, inclination, feeling, or opinion, especially one that is preconceived or unreasoned:

2. unreasonably hostile feelings or opinions about a social group; prejudice

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one's beliefs or hypotheses while giving disproportionately less attention to information that contradicts it.

Debates often consist of attempts to overcome opposing views rather than honestly seeking truth.

An article on in February of 2017 was titled: “Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds.” This had to do with a 1975 study made by Stanford University. It stated: “The vaunted human capacity for reason may have more to do with winning arguments than with thinking straight.” “Once formed,” the researchers observed dryly, “impressions are remarkably perseverant.” Even after the evidence “for their beliefs has been totally refuted, people fail to make appropriate revisions in those beliefs,” the researchers noted.

Research Bias

Do scientists performing research ever influence the results, in order to portray a certain outcome?  Scientists are human.  Could scientists influence the results without realizing they are intentionally doing so?  Biases, to a certain extent, are unavoidable.

Interpretation Bias

The scientific evidence does not speak for itself, it must be interpreted.  This is often where worldviews come into play.  Your particular chosen philosophical worldview will influence how you interpret the evidence.

Sampling Bias

Sampling brings a certain amount of bias into your research.  Your research can be affected not only by the samples you include in your research, but also by the samples you might omit.

Measurement Bias

Measurement bias arises from an error in the data collection and the process of measuring.  A faulty scale might cause an instrument bias.

Reporting Bias

This type of bias arises because positive research tends to be reported more often than where a negative hypothesis is upheld.

For more information see: bias

Closed Science Bias

Because of one’s philosophical worldview, researchers are told to only consider certain types of hypotheses in their research, but do not include other possible hypotheses, if it does not fit the researcher’s chosen philosophical worldview.

The Human Element

We usually just don't like to admit we might be wrong; even to ourselves.